Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Emotion Regulation in Sexually Abused Preschoolers

  • Rachel Langevin
  • Louise Cossette
  • Martine Hébert
Original Article


Emotion regulation is closely related to mental health in children and adults. Low emotion regulation competencies have been found in school-aged sexually abused girls. The aim of the present study was to investigate emotion regulation competencies in sexually abused preschool girls and boys using a multi-informant approach. Emotion regulation was assessed in 62 sexually abused and 65 non-abused preschoolers using the Emotion Regulation Checklist and the MacArthur Story Stem Battery. Both parents and educators reported lower emotion regulation competencies in sexually abused preschoolers, especially boys, than in non-abused children. The narrative task completed by the children also revealed lower emotion regulation competencies in sexually abused boys. These findings could have an important impact on intervention programs offered to these at-risk children.


Sexual abuse Emotion regulation Emotional development Preschoolers 



This research was supported by a Grant awarded to Martine Hébert (SSHRC # 2424) and a PhD fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to the first author. The authors wish to thank the families and educators who participated in this study. Special thanks are also addressed to the members of the Clinique de pédiatrie socio-juridique du CHU Ste-Justine and of the Centre d’Expertise Marie-Vincent.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Langevin
    • 1
  • Louise Cossette
    • 1
  • Martine Hébert
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of SexologyUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada

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